Cultural References

Machibikeshi
History, Heritage & Religion

Hundreds of years ago in the city of Edo (now Tokyo), there were a group of firefighters called the "Machibikeshi". Because homes were built closely together, and almost entirely of wood with thatched roofs, fires were one of the worst disasters the Japanese faced. One of the commonly used methods of preventing the spreading of massive fires was to destroy homes and buildings that were likely to allow the fire to spread. Mallets were a common tool of the Machibikeshi, as was the matoi, which was placed on the roof of nearby buildings to show that a fire was either inside or in the building next door.

Relevance to Ranma

St. Hebereke, Kodachi Kuno's school, has a matoi mounted on the school roof. Also, the mallet Kodachi uses when she tries to attack Akane in her room, is the same sort used by the Machibikeshi to demolish buildings.


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